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Pakistan to issue six-month multiple entry visas to Afghan truck drivers

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed authorities to issue six-month multiple entry visas to truck drivers from Afghanistan, it was reported Wednesday.

Initially, multiple entry visas will be issued for a period of six months, and later it could be extended to period of one year, Pakistan’s The News reported.

Documents required with the visa application will include the applicant’s photograph, passport, registration as a transport company, and employment letter.

The move is aimed at promoting trade with Afghanistan.

Moreover, for the promotion of ease of doing business, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Board of Investment will link the online visa system with online payments.

“We need to remove all hurdles for Afghans in order to help them and to provide them a conducive environment to invest in Pakistan…,” Sharif said, noting that a policy in this regard would be formulated within two weeks.

This comes a day after Pakistan’s PM ordered import of coal from Afghanistan to be paid in rupees.

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Flour mill opens in Herat province

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that a new flour mill has opened and is now operational in Herat province.

Afghan Industry and Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, inaugurated the flour mill, which is privately owned, on Saturday in the presence of an accompanying delegation.

According to the ministry, Azizi thanked the business owner for investing in the mill, which was built in Phase 1 of Herat Industrial Park at a cost of $1.2 million.

The flour mill will be able to produce 180 tons of flour per day, and has provided employment for more than 700 people.

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Afghanistan, Pakistan sign draft convention to avoid double taxation

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2023)

Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed a draft convention to avoid double taxation between the two countries.

The convention was signed after three-day talks concluded in Islamabad on Friday, Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue said in an announcement.

The Afghan delegation was headed by Revenue Legal Services Director Nida Muhammad Seddiqi while FBR’s International Tax Operations DG Sajidullah Siddiqui headed the Pakistani delegation.

The sides thoroughly deliberated over all the outstanding issues identified during the second round of negotiations held in Islamabad from 27th-30th December, 2021.

FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad thanked the Afghan delegation for visiting Pakistan and expressed optimism that the convention will further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan welcomed the move as “another important step forward.”

“It took us some 12 years to cross this milestone. Investors, contractors and businesses on both sides will benefit significantly,” Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.

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Afghanistan accuses Uzbekistan of violating Hairatan port deal

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(Last Updated On: February 3, 2023)

Officials of the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) accuse Uzbekistan Railways of violating the new agreement regarding the technical affairs of the rail link between Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

ARA’s head Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharaft, in an interview with Ariana News, said that Uzbekistan Railways had agreed that 16 Uzbeks be employed for the management of the rail link, but now it is insisting on employing 65 people.

He said that based on the agreement, Uzbekistan should have handed over the technical affairs to a Kazakh company on February 1, however,, Uzbekistan Railways suspended international freight shipment via Hairatan port.

“The only problem is that we had agreed on 16 technical employees, but they have sent a one-sided contract that mentions 65 employees instead of 16 employees, and the salary of each one is 6,000 dollars. This is a huge amount of money and we cannot afford it,” Sharafat said.

The official emphasized that efforts are underway to solve the problem, and a delegation from Afghanistan is ready to travel to Uzbekistan for this purpose.

He also said that efforts are ongoing for the implementation of trans-Afghan railwy project. Although the implementation of this project by foreign engineers is estimated at around 4.8 billion dollars, but the head of the railway administration emphasizes that the project can be implemented at a cost of 2.8 billion dollars.

“We can do anything,” he said. “There is will, there is transparency, there is commitment of leadership.”

Recently, the Afghanistan Railway Administration signed a two-year contract with Kazakhstan on the Haritaan port, according to which Kazakh employees will carry out technical work in this port.

The Hiraitan Railway stretches 75 km from Hiraitan Port to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, through which commercial goods from China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are transported to Afghanistan.

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